Chef’s Table – September 17 & 18, 2021

September 17 & 18, 2021

The 2021 Chef’s Table Series partners with the National Arts Centre to present an outdoor dining experience on a terrace in the heart of the city, with live music performed on a unique floating stage on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Chef Joseph Shawana (Manitoulin Island ON)

Acclaimed Chef Joseph Shawana is Odawa, part of the Three Fires Confederacy. Born and raised in Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve located on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Joseph was brought up knowing that food is life. Starting in the kitchen at the early age of 13, he learned from his mother, who had learned from hers, and quickly fell in love with authentic indigenous cuisine and the way it brings people together. 

His classical French training and Aboriginal background combine to create authentic, Native American cuisine executed with world-class culinary technique; full of flavour and never compromising quality over quantity.

Currently a professor and the Indigenous culinary advisor at Ontario’s Centennial College, Joseph is committed to furthering culinary education in all communities and providing hands-on experience to Indigenous youth by inviting them to work alongside chefs and learn valuable industry applications for sustained development.

As the force behind the high-end Indigenous restaurant, K?k?m Kitchen, which won the ‘Best World Cuisine” award in 2019, he was acclaimed for his unique experiments with traditional Indigenous ingredients, many of them wild, including fir tips, sweet-grass and seal.

Chef Shawana is currently the chair of ICAN, the Indigenous Culinary of Association Nations. Under his leadership and guidance, ICAN is dedicated to breaking barriers and sharing Indigenous food, culinary and cultural experiences from across Canada with the world.

He was named on the list of Top Ten Chefs of Ontario and has received rave reviews in the New York Times, Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, and Food & Wine, to name a few. He is also in great company on Air Canada’s top 20 restaurants in Canada for 2019 and is a sought-after voice on the emergence of Indigenous culinary around the globe.

Chef Kenton Leier (National Arts Centre)

Executive Chef Kenton Leier brings enthusiasm, passion, and creativity to the kitchens at Canada’s National Arts Center.

He is a second-generation chef, born and raised in Saskatoon, in the heart of the prairies. His culinary philosophy relies on the use of sustainable and locally sourced ingredients of the highest quality and letting their inherent qualities stand out in his dishes. 

Chef Leier led teams in Ottawa’s finest hotel kitchens before moving to the NAC in 2017. He has cooked for celebrities, politicians and dignitaries, won numerous medals nationally and internationally and taught young cooks at Ottawa’s Algonquin College. 

He is committed to promoting growth and excellence in his team at the NAC and leads them in their mission to represent the best in Canadian cuisine.


Hot smoked rainbow trout and wild rice salad
Harvested wild rice – Hot smoked rainbow trout
Roasted beets – Fresh berries
Sweetgrass and apple cider vinaigrette

Pine ash crusted bison
Grilled squash with sumac and honey, braised leeks,
and roasted sunchoke purée
Smoked sweet cherry gastrique

Evergreen sorbet
Sorbet of cedar, pine needles, and spruce boughs
Birch syrup with dried wild berries

Downloadable Menu

Music: Celeigh Cardinal

“I’ve always connected with artists whose voices resonate; you can feel it in your body. That is what I’ve  always wanted to be.” 

With a confident voice and boundless energy, Celeigh Cardinal owns a stage connecting deeply with her audience through humour, passion and love. Whether sweetly strumming an acoustic guitar or leading her band in a rocking rave-up, she commands our attention. Her singing is rich and deep with a  burnished maturity and a nimble technical virtuosity that wraps itself around notes with a purr, a snarl or something in the middle. Her songs are authentic and heartfelt and connect us to the healing power of music. Cardinal has received many accolades and nominations for her two full-length albums, but most notably was awarded the 2020 Juno Award for Indigenous Artist of the Year and recently received two 2020 Western Canadian Music Award Nominations.